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The University of Central Florida

In April 2005 Matt DiFebo was recruited to the UCF Athletic Association by, then, Director of Athletics, Steve Orsini (now at SMU) to implement an in-house ticket sales department. DiFebo left his front office position with the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics to pioneer a ticket sales initiative in collegiate athletics. At the time, UCF Football had the longest losing streak in the nation and played at the off-campus Citrus Bowl stadium in downtown Orlando, 13 miles from campus.

Matt set his focus immediately to build a ticket sales department that would revolutionize the collegiate industry and how athletic departments generate ticket revenue and fundraising contributions. Matt methodically went to work on building an infrastructure designed for success and creating synergy among all external departments. What is now commonly referred to as “The DiFebo Model” was created and success soon followed. DiFebo concentrated on several key areas:

• Gain ‘buy-in” and commitment from University and Athletic Administrators

• Recruit and hire a ticket sales staff dedicated full-time staff dedicated to proactively selling tickets

• Create a “Sales Culture” in collegiate athletic department

• Coordinated with all external departments to improve fan relations and revenue strategies

• Reorganized ticket operations with focus on revenue strategies and customer service focus

• Concentrate on areas (revenue sports) with greatest Return on Investment (ROI)

• Ticket pricing strategy to show value of product; reduce practice of ticket discounting and eliminate unnecessary comp ticket distribution

• Training focused on sales technique, proactive selling, and customer service

• Building centralized database of “qualified”, targeted prospects to target

• Implement year-round sales cycle and campaigns focused on NEW season ticket acquisition and retention

• Developed and implemented partial plan and group sales campaigns to generate additional revenue, and grow database

• Incorporated fundraising campaigns into ticket sales strategy

• Developed customer service campaigns to communicate with fans throughout entire year

• Implement performance tracking metrics and reporting procedures to track revenue production and sales activity

In the first full year of operation, the ticket sales department gained the adulation and confidence from the core fan base that previously had not experienced such favorable customer service. More impressive was the increase in football ticket sales revenue by over $2.3 million dollars from the previous season.

The following two seasons the sales department would increase ticket sales revenue by over $4.5 million dollars from the 2005 season. In addition, nearly $3 million in fundraising dollars have been generated by the department in the past four years.

DiFebo gained recognition from his peers around the nation as a leading expert in collegiate ticket sales. His notoriety has lead to frequent request for his expertise and consulting services. Among the first clients was the University of South Alabama Athletic Department. In January 2008, DiFebo contracted with the school to build an in-house ticket sales department modeled after his UCF prototype. Following his recipe for success he worked with University administrators and revenue-minded athletic administrators to implement the sales model. Before the first basketball season the program achieved a 100% increase in, both, ticket sales revenue and season tickets. The South Alabama ticket sales staff was also tasked with selling season tickets for its inaugural football campaign set to kick-off in September 2009. Heading into the first season the newly created ticket sales department has sold nearly 8,000 season tickets and generated an additional $200,000 in fundraising contributions.



June 8, 2010
Press Release: Temple Athletics Partners with The DiFebo Company to Bolster Ticket Sales and Customer Service

June 19-25, 2010
2010 NACDA & Affiliates Convention Week, Anaheim, CA

Visit The DiFebo Company at Exhibit Hall Booth #323




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